U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-26-2019, 01:16 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,824 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

So I am having a hard time understanding/processing all of the information we read out there relating to salaries, house prices, student loan debt, food costs, transportation, etc. Is almost everyone living on a financial edge? If you simply take the median household income of $61k, how are people paying for housing wherein the median price in the U.S. is around $300k? Hell, even if that median household income was $80k its still not enough!

After you had your mortgage, and some basic living expenses like food and gas for your car there is not much left over. How are you then paying student load debt, spending on other consumer products (e.g., consumer spending is at all-time highs), paying your car note (the car debt is at an all time high as well - over a trillion dollars), where the average car transaction sale is around $30k per KBB. Ohh and dont forget to save for retirement as well.

Curious to hear what other people think. I know the numbers above are not perfect, however, I would say they are accurate enough for this discussion.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-26-2019, 01:30 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,482 posts, read 62,084,629 times
Reputation: 32131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
Is almost everyone living on the financial edge?
Close to. Certainly when 'almost' is understood as a the working cohort of the bottom 49%; many above that mark too.
Of them, even those who say/believe they're doing okay... really aren't.

Quote:
If you simply take the median household income of $61k,
how are people paying for housing wherein the median price in the U.S. is around $300k?
Agreed. Median home price and median SINGLE HOH income ratios are a perfect example.

Even if you have a "willing" or "eager" second income ... it's too often not enough.
It still shouldn't be expected as a norm though let alone for that to be required. LINK
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 01:31 PM
 
597 posts, read 200,314 times
Reputation: 1814
Pretty much.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-am...gency-expense/
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,560 posts, read 3,001,676 times
Reputation: 12765
I think more people are in a more fragile economic state than they know or want to believe.

Some people recognize this. Others are convinced they are insulated because of employment, mortgaged house, credit cards paid on time, new/er cars, good health...

I'd say no more than 20% of the 99% could survive a year of financial reverses. 50%, not even three months.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 01:56 PM
 
2,730 posts, read 1,747,774 times
Reputation: 5962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
I think more people are in a more fragile economic state than they know or want to believe.

Some people recognize this. Others are convinced they are insulated because of employment, mortgaged house, credit cards paid on time, new/er cars, good health...

I'd say no more than 20% of the 99% could survive a year of financial reverses. 50%, not even three months.
Was there ever a time or place in human history where citizens could not work for a year? Or 3 months?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 02:24 PM
 
25,964 posts, read 32,962,923 times
Reputation: 32143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
Was there ever a time or place in human history where citizens could not work for a year? Or 3 months?
Exactly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 02:41 PM
 
25,964 posts, read 32,962,923 times
Reputation: 32143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
So I am having a hard time understanding/processing all of the information we read out there relating to salaries, house prices, student loan debt, food costs, transportation, etc. Is almost everyone living on a financial edge? If you simply take the median household income of $61k, how are people paying for housing wherein the median price in the U.S. is around $300k? Hell, even if that median household income was $80k its still not enough!

After you had your mortgage, and some basic living expenses like food and gas for your car there is not much left over. How are you then paying student load debt, spending on other consumer products (e.g., consumer spending is at all-time highs), paying your car note (the car debt is at an all time high as well - over a trillion dollars), where the average car transaction sale is around $30k per KBB. Ohh and dont forget to save for retirement as well.

Curious to hear what other people think. I know the numbers above are not perfect, however, I would say they are accurate enough for this discussion.
What do you mean by “Financial edge”?

Seems pretty basic that people start out in life with lower incomes....and live accordingly. I shared an apartment for years. Definitely was paycheck-to-paycheck for me, for years. I didn’t buy a house until I could afford one. The price was a little less than the national median cost of a home, (and much less than the “average” cost) for that year.

As for my salary, it was higher than the median salary. I had no student debt - I didn’t actually even get serious about college until my employer offered to pay my tuition (the degree benefited them). I bought a brand new car the same year I bought my house. I put enough down on it that my payment was less than $300. Paid off in 4 years. I don’t like living on the edge, so I make sure that doesn’t happen....or at least, I do my best to avoid it.

Last edited by ChessieMom; 06-26-2019 at 03:23 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 02:52 PM
 
Location: WA
5,392 posts, read 21,382,389 times
Reputation: 5878
I look a these posts and have a difficult time understanding what people expect.

When I was just starting my family many years ago we lived in marginal rentals, used public transportation, had a very tight budget with no extras, and just worked our way up over the years. Today's salary that would have been equivalent would be less than 40K a year. Went to school at night, worked multiple jobs, bought cheap housing, cars, etc. and now have an adequate retirement.

Life working from the bottom is never easy but millions do it and some make it to the top 10%.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 02:56 PM
 
2,029 posts, read 857,321 times
Reputation: 5027
The most important thing is to break even financially before you retire. Most people carry debt during the years they are raising kids. Many people save up for a house down payment by the time they are in their 40's. It's a long haul. I got a college degree with very minimal debt by working while in a public college and living at home. After college I relocated to NYC to earn a decent salary. I got married and I didn't get out of debt until my mid 50's, when I leased my first new car. Before that was 30 years of junkers and cheap used cars. My kids went to public colleges and lived at home and worked and got out with minimal student loan debt as well. We never took a cruise or overseas trip, didn't have any expensive hobbies. A good time was take out food and a movie on TV. We did see about 10 concerts in 45 years and went on inexpensive vacations to places like the Amish Country which was in driving distance, once the kids were out of high school. I always knew I needed a job with a pension because that would let me retire at 62, and I did. Other people went for the money, I went for the pension. You make financial choices every day. Eventually you have to figure out how live within your means. We lived on the financial edge our whole married lives and our whole lives as children too. That was normal. But we are retired without any money problems and covered by insurance to avoid any catastrophic incidents. There's people in third world countries living on $2 a day. How do they do it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
So I am having a hard time understanding/processing all of the information we read out there relating to salaries, house prices, student loan debt, food costs, transportation, etc. Is almost everyone living on a financial edge? If you simply take the median household income of $61k, how are people paying for housing wherein the median price in the U.S. is around $300k? Hell, even if that median household income was $80k its still not enough!

After you had your mortgage, and some basic living expenses like food and gas for your car there is not much left over. How are you then paying student load debt, spending on other consumer products (e.g., consumer spending is at all-time highs), paying your car note (the car debt is at an all time high as well - over a trillion dollars), where the average car transaction sale is around $30k per KBB. Ohh and dont forget to save for retirement as well.

Curious to hear what other people think. I know the numbers above are not perfect, however, I would say they are accurate enough for this discussion.

Last edited by bobspez; 06-26-2019 at 03:38 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2019, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,560 posts, read 3,001,676 times
Reputation: 12765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
Was there ever a time or place in human history where citizens could not work for a year? Or 3 months?
That's not really the point. What I'm saying is that a lot of people who should be more stable - as in have a sturdy financial foundation, and probably think they do - would end up utterly destroyed economically by a moderate setback. The pious rule is that you should have three months' living expenses on hand, just in case; I'd bet not one in ten families does. An established family with two workers should be able to ride out a really bad year without losing everything; I don't want to quote real odds on that.

I read the OP as challenging the idea that "most" people and families are financially stable, when only a small fraction really are... despite a large middle ground of those who think they are but would end up in reduced circumstances from one hard financial blow.

So I agree: yes, I think a great majority of us are 'living on the financial edge,' including many (here) who would smugly claim otherwise.


As to your point: if we haven't improved this general situation over prior eras, as this economic superpower with a boom-boom economy and fabled low unemployment... why not? Are we still a nation of factory workers who go live with relatives as a charity case when they suddenly become unable to work? Or just die in the gutter?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top